Upon arrival at Xining airport, be met and escorted to your hotel in Xining. Xining is the capital of Qinghai province. Xining is a very religiously diverse city with large numbers of Buddhists, Daoists, Christians, and Muslims. The average temperature in Xining during the summer is 17-19 degrees Celsius which makes it a very cool place to visit for summer vacation. The altitude in Xining is 2,260m. If time allows, a visit to Ta'er Monastery can be arranged for you. Ta'er Monastery is the religious activity center for monks and followers of the Gelugpa Sect.
After breakfast, you will be driven to visit Qinghai Lake, 150km west of Xining. It covers a vast area of over 4,500 sq km, the largest lake in China, at a height of 3,200m (10,500ft) above sea level. The region around the lake is home to many Tibetan Nomads, whose yaks and sheep graze near the lake. There used to be an annual ceremony to the "God of the Lake", though this ceremony is no longer held. In the summer, herbs can be seen everywhere. Drive back to Xining for the train to Lhasa in the afternoon or evening. Spend the night on the train.
Tips: Be sure to bring snacks with you for the train ride. During parts of your journey on the train the altitude will approach 5,000m.
Witness the beautiful Tibetan Plateau with groups of nomads. See the Kekexili Nature Reserve which protects wild plants and animals as well as their natural habitates.
After arrival at Lhasa around 18:30, you will be picked up by local tour guide at the airport hall or train station, and then be escorted to your hotel in Lhasa city in a private vehicle.
With its much higher elevation, some visitors may experience symptoms of altitude sickness. We recommend taking everything slowly, getting plenty of rest the first day and staying very well hydrated by drinking plenty of water to minimize the effects of the high altitude. Usually you will fine by the second day, but if you do experience severe and/ or worsening symptoms, please contact your tour guide or a member of our staff immediately.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will visit the incredible Potala Palace – the highest palace in the world. As we climb to the entrance gate, you will have a spectacular view over all of Lhasa. After exploring the numerous interesting chapels and learning about the traditional culture and history of the palace and the city, we will move on to the spiritually significant Jokhang Temple, one of the most important temples in Tibetan Buddhism. To see the “real” Lhasa, we’ll stroll through Barkhor Street with its thriving local market where you can pick up some local Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian handicrafts and souvenirs.
Tips for Visiting Potala Palace
1. The number of visitors to the palace is strictly limited to 2,300 per day. Visitors can only visit during the time specified on the admission ticket.
2. Admission tickets to visit the Potala Palace are sold out almost every day, so it is strongly recommended to book your tickets several days in advance.
3. There are many steps at the Potala Palace, so it’s best to take it slowly to avoid possible altitude discomfort.
4. Visitors should respect the rules while visiting. Do not wear hats, wear revealing clothes or step on thresholds as these actions violate local customs.
5. Photography and the taking of videos are forbidden inside the Potala Palace.
6. A security search will take place at the entrance to the palace. Explosives, flammables, knives, lighters and even water bottles are not allowed inside the Potala Palace.
Today features visits to 2 of the most important monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism – the Drepung and Sera Monasteries. Drepung Monastery is located on the hillside west of Lhasa – at one time the world’s largest monastery with about 10,000 monks living there. A pleasant walk up the hill leads to the solemn ambience inside the monastery’s many halls and chapels. After Drepung, we will move on to the Sera Monastery. The main highlight of the Sera Monastery is watching the crowd of monks debating inside the shady courtyard behind the main temple. Every day except Sunday, hundreds of red-robed monks assemble in small groups and practice their debating skills – a very impressive sight to behold, as the monks are very animated in their debates about the various attributes of Buddhist scriptures.
Today you will have free time until your tour guide escorts you to the Lhasa train station or airport for your departing train or flight from Lhasa. This will end your tour services in Tibet.
Train Ticket from Xining to Lhasa.
Private professional English-speaking tour guide.
Private vehicle and Luggage Transfers.
All necessary Tibet travel permits.
All accommodations, based on double-occupancy. Medium standard accommodation with attached bathroom on twin sharing basis. Guesthouse or tent in remote areas.
Meals, as noted in the itinerary.
Admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary.
Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & government taxes.
Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
Train ticket or airfare leaving Tibet.
Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
Meals not listed in the itinerary (all lunches and dinners).
Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
Excess Baggage Charges.
Single room supplement.
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